Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Making a Holiday Budget - Part 2

Yesterday we talked about narrowing down your list of gifts to purchase this holiday season and establishing how much you were going to spend on each person on your list. Today we're going to talk about the rest of the money spent during the holidays and how to budget for it.
You will probably spend the most money this holiday season on the gifts you give, but there are still a lot of other expenses that come up during November and December that many people don't think about... until the bills start rolling in!
Here are some other areas that you'll likely spend money this holiday season:
1.     Travel - whether it's by car, plane or train, if you're traveling at all during the holidays, you'll be paying extra money. If you have to buy a plane or train ticket, write that expense down. If you are driving extra miles, write down an approximate cost for gas. You'd be surprised how easily you'll go over your fuel budget during November and December with just an extra trip or two visiting family that is just out of the area.
2.      Entertaining - are you throwing any holiday parties or hosting one of the major holidays? If so, you'll want to budget some extra grocery money for the months that you'll be entertaining guests. And don't just factor in extra money for food, you'll probably need to factor in extra money for alcohol as well.
3.      Baking - Do you bake a lot during the holidays (I do!)? If you just go out and buy all the ingredients for a certain recipe at once, you'll pay top dollar for most of the ingredients in the recipe. However, if you spend a few minutes now to figure out what you want to bake (I'm sure you have some staples that you bake each year!) and write out what ingredients you'll need, you can start to pick up the ingredients as they go on sale and save yourself some money. For baking, you'll need to decide if you think you can just absorb the cost of the ingredients in to your normal food budget or if you think you need to add some additional money to the budget in November and December.
4.      Decorations - are you in need of new decorations this year? Lights for the tree? Lights for outside? Wreaths? Make sure you factor this in to your holiday budget.
5.      Christmas Tree - if you celebrate Christmas, do you buy a live tree? Where I live they run about $40 if you buy a pre-cut tree or $60 for a tree you cut down yourself. Add this to your budget if you put up a live tree.
6.      Electric Bill - if you put up lights and other electric-powered decorations outside or have lights on your Christmas tree, you will want to budget higher for your electric bill in December. Remember, the more lights/electric decorations you put up, the more you'll have to budget.
It can be overwhelming to think about all the extra money spent during the holidays, huh? This is where Holidays for Less comes in - I will be posting deals, ideas and tips that will help you reduce those expenses. My hope is that by following the information I post, you'll be able to have a memorable holiday season with a much smaller price tag than you've ever had before!
If you've enjoyed the content on this blog so far, I welcome you to follow me (on the right hand side) and stick around for a while! Once I hit 25 followers, I will have a give-a-way!

No comments:

Post a Comment